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EMBO Mol Med. 2013 Oct;5(10):1613-34. doi: 10.1002/emmm.201201974. Epub 2013 Sep 9.

Alteration of the microRNA network during the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

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VIB Center for the Biology of Disease, Leuven, Belgium; Center for Human Genetics, Leuven Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders (LIND) University Hospitals Leuven, and University of Leuven, O&N4, Herestraat, Leuven, Belgium.


An overview of miRNAs altered in Alzheimer's disease (AD) was established by profiling the hippocampus of a cohort of 41 late-onset AD (LOAD) patients and 23 controls, showing deregulation of 35 miRNAs. Profiling of miRNAs in the prefrontal cortex of a second independent cohort of 49 patients grouped by Braak stages revealed 41 deregulated miRNAs. We focused on miR-132-3p which is strongly altered in both brain areas. Downregulation of this miRNA occurs already at Braak stages III and IV, before loss of neuron-specific miRNAs. Next-generation sequencing confirmed a strong decrease of miR-132-3p and of three family-related miRNAs encoded by the same miRNA cluster on chromosome 17. Deregulation of miR-132-3p in AD brain appears to occur mainly in neurons displaying Tau hyper-phosphorylation. We provide evidence that miR-132-3p may contribute to disease progression through aberrant regulation of mRNA targets in the Tau network. The transcription factor (TF) FOXO1a appears to be a key target of miR-132-3p in this pathway.


Alzheimer's disease; hippocampus; miR-132-3p; microRNA; prefrontal cortex

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